Look What I Found!

 

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Ernie Whitman, Lena Horne, Eddie Green (my father)

 

Family, friends, young and old, prepare to be blown away.. Here is a photo of Ernie Whitman, Lena Horne and my father, Eddie Green! My publisher told me I would find more information on my father once I published the book and he was right. For whatever reason I decided today to search for new pictures of Eddie, so I went to Google Advanced Search and typed in Eddie’s and Lena’s names (I chose Lena because she and Eddie performed together and for once I was “thinking outside the box”) and Lo and Behold there they were. This photo was taken back in the 1940’s while they were waiting to perform on a Jubilee radio show for our troops in WWII.

For those who don’t know:

Ernie Whitman .(February 21, 1893 Fort Smith, Arkansas – August 5, 1954 Hollywood, California) was the wartime host of the Jubilee radio show aimed at African-American troops and he was a stage and screen actor appearing in such films as
The Green Pastures (1936), Jesse James (1939), Gone With the Wind (1939), Third Finger, Left Hand (1940), Among the Living (1941), Road to Zanzibar (1941), Cabin in the Sky (1943), Stormy Weather (1943), The Lost Weekend (1945).

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an Award–winning jazz and pop music singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. Horne’s career spanned over 70 years appearing in film, television, and theater. Her film appearances were many including Cabin in the Sky (1943) and Stormy Weather (1943). There may be some younger folks out there reading this blog who have never heard of Lena Horne (what!!). She was beautiful and sexy and someone said she had a sultry voice.

Anyhow, finding this picture was a new thrill for me today and helps to keep me motivated to write these posts and also to get out and market my book. This month I will be visiting libraries in California performing readings for nostalgia buffs and spreading the word. I will probably “tweet” the dates and places.

In my book Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer I have included a portion of a Jubilee radio program these three did together in 1942.

If you haven’t read the book yet, you might want to check it out. I’m told that it is an enjoyable read. (Christmas is coming!)

Thanks for stopping by and KCB.

(photo provided by ebay on Google Advanced Image Search)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NOSTALGIA PIECE

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I am feeling nostalgic today. With my first book signing for the biography I wrote about my father, Eddie Green, coming up on November, I have, of course, been thinking about Eddie and my mom, Norma. Through a second marriage Norma is also the mom of my three brothers and one sister, Nathaniel Lance (who has passed on), Brad, Brian and Donna. Through them (and me) she was also grandma Norma and great-grandma Norma. Mom passed away this month in  2010. Her birthday month is November. My brother Brad’s birthday is in October. So, I think I just figured out why I am nostalgic. Plus, November is BIG for me in another anonymous way but I’ll save that for another post.

Back to mom. I showed my youngest brother Brian this picture of Eddie and mom and he did not recognize the lady in that fur. Our family does not have a lot of pictures from 1946, and mom didn’t talk to much about those years. As you can see, those years were pretty good for Eddie and Norma.

While doing my research for the book I found an article in the Los Angeles California Eagle newspaper by J. T. Gipson in her “Notes from a Newsgirl” column, that “Eddie (Duffy’s Tavern) Green and wife, nee Norma Amato, are vacationing in the East. Norma plans to relieve New York of some of their latest creations”.

Such as this ensemble or these hats from 1946: womensfashion1940hats

In those days mom was always in the news. Before she married Eddie she had aspired to become an opera star. Here is what was printed in  another article in a 1944 Los Angeles California Eagle newspaper: “Keep your ears on Norma Amato’s delightful thrushing…she has the kind of voice you hear only in a dream”.

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Together, she and Eddie liked to entertain at home. Jessie Mae Brown of the Los Angeles California Eagle reported in her column “What’s Doing in the Social Set” that “Television with all its newness will be the incentive for an exclusive soiree at the Eddie Green’s Second avenue home. After waiting several years in suspense for television, I look forward to this party with keen interest as well as pleasure.”

I found a picture of a 1946 television set. I don’t know if this was the same one or even the same day, but mom told me that Eddie cut a hole in the wall between the kitchen and the dining room and set the tv in the hole, leaving the ugly back of the set sticking out into the kitchen.tv1946

Eddie did not start out in life this way. He was born in an alley house in Baltimore (no sewage system and disease) to struggling parents. He ran away from home when he was nine and by the time he was seventeen he was working but still lived in an alley house on Ten Pin Alley (an actual alley listed on a map).

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Eddie worked his way up. He taught himself to read. He discovered what he liked to do and he determined to do it the best he knew how. My father was thirty years older than mom. By the time she met Eddie it was all about traveling, nightclubs, parties, dinners, she did not talk much about what she knew of Eddie’s early life. He took her to Baltimore to show her his old living situation. She met his daughter from a previous marriage. But it was necessary for me to do extensive research in order to write the biography Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer. And thank goodness I did because my father’s story radiated inspiration for me. I’ve heard that others have felt the same after reading the book.

My next post will be from my new, updated blog which will feature news of the book, purchasing and what not, and it will also feature reviews I have received (all wonderful so far!). Thank you so much for being a part of my journey here on this blog.

And thank you, for stopping by.